EE still not laying.......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stynch, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Stynch

    Stynch Songster

    Nov 7, 2013
    Buckeye, AZ
    Are there ever chickens that just plain never lay an egg? We have an EE that we got in early August when (we were told by the pet store) she was 4-1/2 months old. That was 4 months ago, so even if they were off by as much as 2 or 3 months, she should be laying. Obviously, they weren't off by that much! She was 3-4 pounds, fully feathered, pea comb just starting. In comparison, the Leghorn Mutts and Australorp we got a week later were about half her size, and they were 3 months old (and all started laying in early November). Big Red's pea comb is well formed, about 1/2" high, quite red. Her face is also red. She loves to sit in the nest boxes (especially when the other girls are in need of them)! She has days when she is quite vocal. Her pelvic bones have separated to the point where I can barely get two fingers between them.

    Weather is not much of an issue in the Phoenix area. We had a cold snap a couple weeks ago, but our normal this time of year is 60s during the day and high 40s at night. There is a light on a timer to extend their "daylight" to 14 hours. And the other 3 chickens lay practically every day (we got 21 eggs last week and 19 this week).

    At this point, we need to justify continuing to feed a non-productive chicken. What would you do?


  2. Mtnmomma3

    Mtnmomma3 In the Brooder

    Nov 10, 2013
    I'll follow this conversation.

    We have three chickens, supposedly all about the same age of about 30 weeks. The Buff Orpington and the Australorp are both laying daily but our Americauna hasn't laid one yet.
  3. jullblue

    jullblue In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2013
    I'm going to join this thread too- I got 2 chicks from a teacher who hatched them in her room, very tame girls... One turned out to be a Blk Australorp and the other looks like a EEgger. Both were hatched on May 21st this year. The Australorp has been laying for 2 months now. We steadily get 6 eggs by Sunday (when we make a lovely brunch). The EEgger follows her around, watches her lay, listens to her song, everything- but no eggs from her anywhere. No song from her, no nothing. My Australorp never laid in the box, she found a 'nest' by the fence under an old wooden chair. I am not worried about it, bc it is easy to get to for us. She can keep laying there.
    I wonder how long it will be until the other gets a moving! They are the same size, eat the same diet, and sleep in the same place. Weird.
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Ameraucanas often seem to be quite late to start laying, and EEs, even hatchery ones, being mixes, are really unpredictable. I wouldn't give up on a 8-9 month old so far as ever laying, but even with lights stubborn ones may not start laying until spring. I would probably keep it (if I have the room) since I had raised it this far and hope that it would start any day now, I wouldn't hatch eggs from it though, don't want more really late starters. One thing to double check is that you do have a pullet... with the peacombs the occasional "pullet" has turned out to be a late blooming cockerel....
  5. Megn

    Megn In the Brooder

    May 4, 2013
    I got both my EEs the Friday before Easter for my kiddos and the first one started about 4-5 weeks ago and the second one just started a few days ago. I also have one buff orptington that started september-Octoberish.... I can't really remember exactly when.

  6. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Crowing

    May 31, 2013
    EE's are known to lay very late sometimes.Mine laid at 33 weeks old might have been older then that.So I would just try to be patient and just keep waiting :) Hope she lays soon though.
  7. I have raised EE's for a little more then four years now and laying egg's
    of different color is what they do but a production layer they are not
    known for and I have had one take as long as eleven months to lay an
    egg and for the most part every other day once you feed them some
    laying mash ,,, a person shouldn't really expect more then three egg's
    per week per hen just the kind of chicken they are ............[​IMG]

  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    My present EEs started at 18 weeks, laid almost everyday & had the shortest molt of all my chickens. They are now laying almost daily again. While they are all different, I have never had anything but great laying out of the 3-4 groups I've had over the years. I always wonder how people know they are not laying, as except for the green eggs, I would not know who was laying. Some lay brown eggs, so just because you get no green, it doesn't mean they are not laying.
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Interesting that you got her from a pet store. I wonder what her story is and where they got her.

    With one chicken averages don’t meant anything. They are all individuals. Since EE’s are mixes anyway, a lot is going to depend what they are mixed with, what breeds are in the background. But because you have no idea what breeds are in her background, averages really don’t mean anything. If you knew something about the flock she came from you might get some better ideas of what to expect.

    Like Cindy I’ve had EE’s that start to lay early and lay really well from there forward, lots of large eggs. But I’ve also has some that didn’t start laying until they were 9 months old. That was almost exactly a year ago, in early December during the shortest days of the year and without supplemental lights. Once they started they laid nice eggs practically every day until the molt this fall. I hatched some of their eggs (crossed with my mutt dual purpose rooster) and kept some pullets. Those pullets started laying around 22 weeks and are still laying great right now without supplemental lights.

    What would I do if I were in your position? Obviously I kept mine but I really wanted those colored egg genetics in my flock. By keeping the pullets that started early from that hatch hopefully I’m on the way to reduce the late laying problem. But since I’ve got a breeding goal in mind, my goals are different than yours.

    There is no way of knowing when she will actually start laying or how well she will lay when she does. Yes, there can be some hens that never lay. There are some that hardly ever lay once they start from any breed or cross. They are living animals. Anything can happen.

    What would you do if you got rid of her, just keep the other three and be happy with that? Would you try to replace her? How badly do you want blue or green eggs? With an EE there is no guarantee she will lay colored eggs anyway when she starts. I’m sure with her coming from a pet store you‘ve got some money invested in her, then there is all that feed you’ve bought. It’s hard to know when to cut your losses because no one can tell you with any degree of certainly what is in her egg-laying future. I don’t envy you your decision. It’s not an easy one.

  10. Stynch

    Stynch Songster

    Nov 7, 2013
    Buckeye, AZ
    I appreciate all the input. It is very reassuring to know that others have the same issue with their EEs.

    Kelsie - I am 99.9% sure she's a pullet as there are no male feather indicators nor behaviors (that plus her pelvic bones have separated somewhat....)!

    Cindy - There is no doubt that she is not laying. The three layers all lay cream - light brown eggs, but they are all different, and I always know who laid what. When they first started laying, I did a lot of coop-stalking!! Darkest egg with tiny speckles is Cherry. Lightest, cream colored egg is Amber. Other egg is Blackie, my Australorp who started laying on 11/2 and laid 5 days straight, took one day off, and has laid by 10 AM every single day since!! On a "bad week" (if both the Leghorn mutts take a day off) I still get 19 eggs from 3 girls, so I can't complain.

    Ridgerunner - She was the first chicken we ever bought, so I didn't know what questions to ask at the pet store!! The fact that she's an EE and might lay pretty colors was not even a factor. I had called the store that morning and was told they had about 20 RIR starters in stock. By the time hubby got home from work and we got into town, someone had come into the store and bought them all. I just couldn't leave empty-handed, so we bought the only other female they had!! I believed them when they said she was 4-1/2 months old, but now I'm guessing she was closer to 3 or 3-1/2 months (which still makes her about 8 months now). We paid $12 and have been feeding her, so yes, there is a little investment, but nothing major. She is the biggest of our 4 birds, so of course she eats the most! But, like you said, I'm not doing any breeding, so I'm not worried about future generations. Our coop/run was built for 6-8 birds, but for just my husband and myself, we don't need that many eggs! Our plan is to add 2 starters next spring, basically to fill in the gap when the older ones molt.

    I'm not going to do anything until after the holidays, so maybe she'll give me a nice blue/green Christmas present and all of this will be moot [​IMG]

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